The presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan, Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev, took part in a trilateral summit with their Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani. During the meeting, the leaders discussed mutual cooperation, especially in the fields of transit and energy. Regional issues as well as terrorism and security were also top on the agenda.
The presidents then took part in a joint press conference and answered the reporters’ questions.
During the presser, Iranian President Rouhani said engagement with international community particularly the neighbouring countries is among Iran’s strategic policies.
He stressed that the trilateral meeting in Tehran is based on friendship between Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan and added the friendship and geographical closeness “has prompted us to take advantages of the current capacities in our relations.”
The Iranian president also referred to the previous round of the trilateral meeting in Baku and said the leaders are seriously pursuing the transit project among the three countries as well as Asia and Europe.
If accomplished, he added, the North-South Transport Corridor will connect the two continent of Asia and Europe together.
Rouhani went on saying the three states are seeking to expand their relations in sea and rail transport field and added as the Caspian littoral states, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azerbaijan and Russia can take advantage of the “peace and development” sea.
He then referred to the regional challenges like terrorism, extremism and trans-regional powers’ interference in the internal affairs of the regional states and said the only way to cope with the challenges is cooperation.
“For the Islamic Republic of Iran, ensuring regional security and fight against terrorism in line with its international partners is of great significance,” he noted.
President Rouhani also referred to the Syria crisis and said Iran calls for political resolution of the crisis in Syria.
“We have been seeking to contribute to peace and stability in Syria through Astana Talks.”
He also stressed that Iran attaches great importance to Iraq’s sovereignty through close cooperation with the central government of Baghdad and warned any division could have dire consequences for all the regional states.
Rouhani, Putin and Aliyev held their first trilateral summit in August 2016 in Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku, where they discussed environmental issues and the fight against terrorism. Ways of enhancing cooperation in the areas of commerce, energy, communications, transport and transit were also discussed during the meeting.